As a freelancer, you know that getting clients is one of the hardest things. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced freelancer, finding work can be a daunting task, because, well, clients come and go. That’s why looking for clients is an essential part of freelance success.
Many freelancers actually make a mistake by waiting for clients to come to them. If you want to earn some money, you’ll have to find people who need your expertise. The competition in the freelance world is getting tougher and tougher every day – in fact, 36 percent of the U.S. workforce freelanced in 2016 – so waiting for someone to hire you is a really bad idea.
If you want to land high-quality and high-paying freelance clients, take a look at the following ten ways to find them and make them come back with great offers.
1. Apply to Projects that You Can Do Really Well
If you’ve registered on a freelance platform, you’ll be able to send your offers to clients. Since a typical project receives a lot of messages from contractors ready to complete it, making the final choice could be difficult for a client.
For you, this means that you should do your best to stand out from the pack. To achieve this goal, you have to demonstrate a good understanding of the project as well as the unique needs of the client. So, read the description of the project very carefully and understand the needs inside and out before writing your offer.
2. Create a Good-Looking Portfolio
Having a portfolio is obviously a must for freelancers because it’s often the only way they can prove their expertise and skills. This is especially relevant for web designers and other professionals who need to showcase their work.
There are great online portfolio builders out there you can try, including Crevado and Pathbrite. Be sure to include your best works and describe them in detail so the clients know what you can do.
3. Blog about Your Industry / Niche
Adding a blog to your online resume or portfolio can do wonders for your search for freelance clients. For example, this could be a great idea for copywriters, ghost writers, and other content creators because gives them a great chance to demonstrate their expertise.
Before you get into blogging, you should know what to write about. For example, if you’re a content writer, you may think that “how-to” articles would be great but they would only be helpful to those learning writing web content.
Instead, write articles that will appeal to those interested in paying you to create content for them. For example, post an article about content marketing and increasing lead conversion. As a result, you’ll be passively marketing your services and creating an image of an expert in your field.
4. Do Guest Posts
When you create good content – articles, infographics, images – for other websites, you put yourself in front of potential clients and demonstrate your expertise. The sites that allow guest posting also enable you to include your bio and online profile, so this is a good opportunity to get your contact information out there.
Here’s how guest blogging works:
- You find and contact reputable blogs that accept guest posts and have a large reading audience. Try Googling “Write for us” and check out the results.
- Pitch your idea for articles or other content to them. Remember to first read their guidelines carefully!
- Send them your content and information once you receive an approval.
5. Update your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a great network for professionals where your profile is essentially an online resume. It can serve you in a number of ways, including:
- Finding work at the LinkedIn job board
- Network with other professionals in your industry or niche
- Finding customers and contacting them directly
- Selling your services in your profile summary
- Listing your experience and portfolio items for potential clients to see
- Building your LinkedIn skills and endorsements.
6. Collect Client Testimonials to Build Credibility
In e-commerce, customer testimonials are a huge deal. According to BigCommerce, 72% of online consumers say that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more, so that’s why businesses are doing their best to improve their ratings on company review sites.
In searching for freelance clients, they can also have a similar effect. Wouldn’t you trust a contractor with an excellent record and numerous positive reviews from happy clients? This is also why you should encourage freelance clients to leave public reviews so your potential clients can see them.
7. Become Top Rated Freelancers
Many freelance platforms have special programs to showcase the best-performing freelancers to clients and help them find more work. To become featured on these programs, you have to have an excellent record of performance (usually 90 percent of positive reviews or higher), respond to inquiries in a timely manner (less than 24 hours), have a complete profile, etc.
Know how this works on your platform of choice so that you can leverage it to grow your business and get freelance clients to come to you.
8. Be More Flexible and Less Official
Be careful about how you word agreements concerning work with freelance clients. Agreements or contracts can be very useful to keep the relationship professional and make sure that everyone is on the same page. What you want to avoid doing is making it sound like you have no flexibility in terms of the tasks that you are offering to do for them.
Clients want to know that you will be able to work well with them. Listen to them to understand how they want their project to be completed. You have to work on building trust first, and then proceed to other things. Communicate so that they know you are there to help them, not make things more complicated. Make adjustments based on their needs, within limits, of course. Express what you need from them in return, but do it politely. Then put what you discussed in writing just to make sure everything is clear and have them acknowledge. This will avoid disagreements down the line about the task scope and how you work as a freelancer.
9. Constantly Improve Your Expertise
The competition in the freelance market is unbelievable, so a continuous improvement of your skills is a must if you want to thrive. Freelancers with a wide range of skills are much more popular among clients because they can complete a complex project successfully.
So if you feel that it’s time to update a skill you have or learn a new one, look for online courses and begin learning. Remember: highly skilled freelancers get paid much more, and clients always want them.
10. Determine Fair Pricing
Instead of coming up with a figure that’s not based on anything, you need to make sure that you’re charging enough to make a comfortable living. If you think that setting up a low price is a good idea to attract more freelance clients, you might be heading for disaster. For example, such pricing won’t satisfy your basic financial needs; plus, the clients who want quality work will ignore you, assuming that you charge so little because you aren’t good at what you do.
The Bottom Line
Getting freelance clients to come to you is a business move that requires a lot of effort because of all the fierce competition. However, it’s not something that you can’t accomplish. There are thousands and thousands of freelancers out there doing the same thing successfully. Try using several ways from this article for a start and you’ll see what it takes to win more freelance clients.
Audrey is a visual content and digital marketing specialist currently working at A-Writer. She finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is a tech-savy person and likes to write on different topics like social media, web design, mobile apps, online marketing and much more.